Fake news is an ethical and socially impactful problem because [x], and the best way to address this problem is [y]
This is argumentative a rough draft 2-page paper makes sure to follow the instructions as it should be. The topic or paper you can choose any of these lists I prefer “Fake news is an ethical and socially impactful problem because [x], and the best way to address this problem is [y].”.
CES Midterm Paper Instructions
Midterm Paper Due Date: March 8th by 11:59 PM , submitted on Blackboard
Do NOT put your name on your paper, only your student ID number
Draft of the paper due:
→ Submitted via blackboard by February 26th, 11:59 PM
(10 points: the draft must be at least 2 pages, have a thesis, and all four parts)
→ Bring a printed copy to class, on February 27th
For this midterm, you will turn in an argumentative paper on a topic from the first portion of
class. Your paper should be between 3 – 7 pages (double-spaced). Longer papers are not
necessarily better, it is more important to make sure you cover all the necessary components of
your argument. The paper should be clear and demonstrate mastery of one of the topics we’ve
discussed in class. The paper should be composed of your own words and ideas. The paper
must include proper citations. It will be graded according to the rubric in this document.
The audience for your paper is a reasonable person who has taken this class, learned
and understood everything we have covered, and starts off disagreeing with your thesis.
● When you paraphrase or quote other authors you should cite them, and include a
bibliography. You may use any citation style you prefer, although MLA is recommended.
You do not need formal citations for class notes, you can just say: “In class… / during
General guide on citations:
● Do not put your name, or any other identifying marks, anywhere on the paper, only your
student ID number
● Your thesis should be on one of the listed topics, unless given prior, written, approval by
● Paper should be double spaced, 1″ margins, 12 point font (Times New Roman or
something very similar).
● No introduction or conclusion. Your first sentence is your thesis.
● Must be in .doc or .docx format.
● Submitted via Blackboard (and Safe Assign) by the due date.
The US Government has a moral obligation to do [x] differently to prevent situations like [y].
It [Is / Is not] more difficult to gain knowledge on the internet [in principle / in practice].
It [Is / Is not] meaningful to morally disagree on the internet, because cultural moral relativism is
[false / true].
Overall, the internet [harmful / beneficial] for society’s overall [knowledge / justified belief /
As a society, we ought to make [x] changes, in order to make the internet more beneficial in [y]
Conspiracy Theories are an ethical + socially impactful problem because [x], and the best way
to address this problem is [y].
Fake news is an ethical and socially impactful problem because [x], and the best way to address
this problem is [y].
(Or, get a topic pre-approved by Prof. Schmidt)
Structure of your Paper
Your paper should include the following parts. Parts should be clearly labeled in your paper
(“Part 1”, “Part 2”, etc).
Part 1: Thesis and Argument (40 points)
Your paper should not have an introduction: your thesis statement should be the first sentence
of your paper. The thesis should be easy to understand, and it should be something that
someone could disagree with. This section should explain your thesis, and then give an
argument that your thesis is true. (You can refer to the parts of an argument hand out) Your
argument should include several reasons, connected to the thesis. The argument must give
evidence that your thesis is true, evidence which could convince the audience. The argument
should address every aspect of your thesis: if your thesis has multiple parts, you must argue for
all of these. Your argument should also draw upon material and concepts we have covered in
the class. You should make sure to include at least 2 central ideas + citations from what we’ve
read for the course. You may want to include more, depending on your topic choice. Your
argument should clearly define any key terms, and address any obvious questions or objections
that we discussed in class. This section will be the longest.
Part 2: Case Study (10 points)
In this section you should explain at least one clear and specific example . You may describe an
example from class, describe a novel thought experiment, an example from fiction (book or
movie), or explain an example you found in the news. This section should explain the specific
example, and describe how this example supports your argument.
Part 3: Give an Objection (20 points)
You should clearly explain one objection to your view, explaining why the objection is plausible
and why this is a threat to your view. If possible, make this objection a counterexample to your
view. To get an A for this section, you must both give an objection that could convince a
reasonable person that your thesis is false, and you must also clearly explain why a reasonable
person could be convinced by it, in a way that shows that you understand (some of) those who
disagree with you.
Part 4: A Response to the objection (10 points)
You should respond to the objection in part 3, explaining why it is not a problem for your view.
Your response should be able to convince a person who was originally compelled by the
example in part 3. This section should make it clear why your view is correct, despite the
objection in part 3.
Rubric + Grading Notes
Your paper will be graded based upon your ideas, and how clearly they are presented. (See:
“How to write a philosophy paper” by Jim Pryor, for more information.) The rubric below is what
will be used to assess the paper.
Description Points Possible Points Earned
There is a clear thesis, defending one
perspective on the topic. The paper gives a
persuasive argument for one perspective on
the topic. The argument is well-structured
and clearly supports the thesis.
The argument clearly explains at least two
reasons to support the thesis. The reasons
are clearly connected to the thesis. The
argument supports the thesis, and any
obvious questions are explained.
The argument draws upon key ideas from
the class + readings. Any relevant course
ideas are included, and presented clearly.
The paper presents a specific example. The
example is clearly described, and the paper
explains how the example supports the
The paper considers at least one forceful
objection, explaining why it seems plausible
and how it is an objection to the thesis.
The paper gives a clear response to the
objection in part 3.
The paper is clear, stylistically effective, easy
to read, and there are no spelling / grammar
errors. All work is cited appropriately.